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United Way In the News


United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and hard work of some of our community’s most active citizens.

Yankton is very fortunate to have thousands of community volunteers who give of themselves selflessly and strive to make a real difference in the lives of their neighbors. 

A great example of dedication to our community is seen in the work of long time community volunteer, Julie Moderegger, who was recently recognized as United Way of Greater Yankton’s Volunteer of the Month. Moderegger is the coordinator of the Kid’s Hope program at Beadle Elementary, which is a program that pairs adults with children to build positive one-on-one relationships to help meet emotional, social and academic needs.

“It is inspiring to see the difference Julie makes in the student’s life by pairing them with that perfect mentor,” stated Carey Mitzel, Beadle Elementary Princial, who nominated Moderegger for the award. “Julie is special and spends numerous hours making sure students know they have someone they can depend on for a lifetime”.

We asked Julie to share more about her volunteer efforts throughout the community:

I have lived here in the Yankton area since 1990.

I started my volunteer work with the Kids Hope program at First United Methodist Church about six years ago. The other mentors from our church that step up each year to mentor a child deserve this recognition as much as I do. They're incredible!  I've worked at First Dakota National Bank for nine years and their belief in giving back to our communities has also allowed me to be involved in other volunteer organizations including Junior Achievement, The Center - Meals on Wheels, Food for Thought - Sack Pack and United Way - Adopt a Family. I typically volunteer around 50-60 hours per year.

My number one reason I continue to volunteer is the children. If you know me, you know kids have a special place in my heart. I'm also so happy that our Kids Hope partnership is with Beadle School. My kids were Beadle Bugs so this has provided me a chance to give back to the school and teachers that taught them. Being an educator is hard work. Teachers and schools deserve the support of volunteers. 

Volunteer work is enjoyable because it gives you opportunities to build relationships with new people. I've met a number of great kids through the years that I will never forget.

In my experience with Kids Hope, the best moments are those when the lightbulb goes on for the kids and they realize that their mentor WILL be there each and every week - no matter what.

The advice I would give to anyone thinking about volunteering would be that small things can make a HUGE difference. Start small and you won't be able to stop!  You don't have to look far for opportunities to GIVE BACK to a community. They are there in your churches, schools, and neighborhoods.

For more information on local volunteer opportunities or to nominate a Volunteer of the Month, visit or call United Way of Greater Yankton at (605) 665-6766. 

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